first_imgFocus, intensity and goals dried up for Syracuse in its road swing over three weekends.Saturday’s 2-2 tie at Rochester Institute of Technology epitomized the team’s struggles. SU lost numerous battles for possession on the boards and tied a game it felt it should’ve won. Starting the game with that mindset was part of the problem, but the result represented shortcomings all around for the team.“We got outworked, outhustled, outcoached; we didn’t do a very good job,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “All of us.”But with 10 days between the disappointment in Rochester and the Orange’s (5-5-1, 2-0-1 College Hockey America) rematch with the Tigers (0-2-0, 0-2-0 CHA) at Tennity Ice Pavillion, the team will prepare differently. Flanagan’s team was a distracted one on its road trip, and the extra time between games gives him a chance to conduct a mini preseason. During the break, the team will have little else to think about besides hockey.It’s a break from a routine that simply was not working.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“All we have to worry about is playing hockey; literally that’s it,” captain Jacquie Greco said.In a normal week when SU plays Friday and Saturday, rests Sunday and resumes practice Monday, Flanagan puts his players through the same paces. Mondays and Tuesdays are work days in which the team conditions to keep its base fitness up through the six-month season. Wednesdays and Thursdays mean fine-tuning specific systems and units.This week, though, Flanagan plans to have his team skate hard through Saturday. He will continue making adjustments to an offense that’s fallen flat since Laurie Kingsbury went out with a concussion following the Quinnipiac series Oct. 19-20.“When she got injured she was our leading scorer, and I think she’s still up there, which is kind of scary,” he said.Flanagan bemoaned Syracuse’s run of two-goal games, a total he said isn’t usually enough to ensure victory.SU averaged a goal every 17.4 minutes in its first six games. Goals have come every 30.5 minutes for SU in the last five contests.The Orange has underestimated opponents during that stretch. UConn had just one win to its name in seven games before beating SU 4-2.“We can try to address going back to UConn in terms of ‘Don’t look at your opponent’s record,’” Flanagan said. “They were playing their first game at home, and I don’t know if our kids thought they were going to show up and win. So of course they were motivated.”Sophomore defender Kaillie Goodnough said SU ran into similar problems against RIT, getting outworked in possession battles on the boards. It’s an area she expects the team to work on in its off week.“In the corners, all around the ice and on the boards, because RIT won most of the battles during our game there,” Goodnough said. “So we need to show them that we’re not just going to turn over and give them the boards.”The extra days without games will also allow players to heal from the minor bumps and bruises that pile up over the course of a season. Goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater said she’ll use the time to rest up her right hip, still healing from hip surgery she underwent during the summer. Drinkwater rehabs for 30 to 45 minutes per day, three to four days per week.Drinkwater will also enjoy a team trip to Goodnough’s house for Thanksgiving next week. The sophomore defender lives in nearby Mannsville, about 45 minutes away, where Goodnough expects eight to 10 teammates to join her and her family.With a mostly empty campus, teammates that spend plenty of time together will have more free time to hang out and relax before trying to refocus and clean up their play for the heart of the season.“We’re putting the past behind us, we’re going to keep moving forward, we have a lot of hockey left this season,” Greco said. “I don’t want people to have any doubt in us because we’re going to turn our season around.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 15, 2012 at 12:03 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_last_img